Sean McFate

Policy and Research Papers

Monopoly of Force

The loss by many states of the monopoly of the legitimate use of force has contributed significantly to the proliferation of failed and failing states worldwide. In such states, a multitude of threats, including insurgencies, terrorist networks, transnational organized crime, and illicit shadow economies, flourish. These states often become trapped in cycles of violent conflict that threaten stability and security at home, in their neighborhoods, and throughout the world. States emerging from conflict are highly prone to return to conflict within the first few years of postconflict status. The widespread availability of lethal weapons exacerbates the tensions that already permeate conflict and postconflict environments.

The mechanism of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) is widely acknowledged to be an essential component of successful peacekeeping, peace-building, postconflict management, and state-building. Security sector reform (SSR) has emerged as a promising though poorly understood tool for consolidating stability and establishing sovereignty after conflict. While DDR enables a state to recover the monopoly (or at least the preponderance) of force, SSR provides the opportunity for the state to establish the legitimacy of that monopoly.

The essays in this book reflect the diversity of experience in DDR and SSR in various contexts. Despite the considerable experience acquired by the international community, the critical interrelationship between DDR and SSR and the ability to use these mechanisms with consistent success remain less than optimally developed. DDR and SSR are essential tools of modern statecraft, but their successful use is contingent upon our understanding of both the affinities and the tensions between them. These essays aim to excite further thought on how these two processes—DDR and SSR—can be implemented effectively and complimentarily to better accomplish the shared goals of viable states and enduring peace.

Edited by Melanne A. Civic and Michael Miklaucic, with contributions from:

  • Josef Teboho Ansorge
  • Nana Akua Antwi-Ansorge
  • Judith Asuni
  • Alan Bryden
  • Véronique Dudouet
  • Jennifer M. Hazen
  • Michelle Hughes
  • Jacques Paul Klein
  • Mark Knight
  • G. Eugene Martin
  • James Mattis
  • Sean McFate
  • Anne-Tyler Morgan
  • Jacqueline O’Neill
  • Courtney Rowe
  • Mark Sedra
  • Matthew T. Simpson
  • Cornelis (Kees) Steenken
  • Jarad Vary
  • Adriaan Verheul
  • Eric Wiebelhaus-Brahm
  • Paul R. Williams
Paper

Building Better Armies: An Insider's Account of Liberia

Recent events in Mali, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere demonstrate that building professional indigenous forces is imperative to regional stability, yet few success stories exist. Liberia is a qualified “success,” and this study explores how it was achieved by the program’s chief architect. Liberia suffered a 14-year civil war replete with human rights atrocities that killed 250,000 people and displaced a third of its population. Following President Charles Taylor’s exile in 2003, the U.S. contracted DynCorp International to demobilize and rebuild the Armed Forces of Liberia and Ministry of Defense; the first time in 150 years that one sovereign nation hired a private company to raise another sovereign nation’s military. This monograph explores the theory and practice behind the successful disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) of the legacy military and security sector reform (SSR) that built the new one. It also considers some of the benefits and difficulties of contracting out the making of militaries. This is significant since the private sector will probably participate increasingly in security sector reform. The monograph concludes with 28 concrete recommendations for practitioners and 6 recommendations for the U.S. Army on how to expand this capability. Finally, this monograph is written by a practitioner for practitioners.

Paper

The Link Between DDR and SSR in Conflict- Affected Countries

This report reflects views expressed during a March 5, 2010, conference held at the National Defense University entitled “Monopoly of Force: The Link between DDR and SSR,” cosponsored by the United States Institute of Peace and the Center for Complex Operations. The conference sought to dispel the notion that there is no connection between disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) and security sector reform (SSR). The conference determined that, in reality, DDR and SSR are interrelated and mutually reinforcing and should occur simultaneously in a holistic manner.

Paper